Chiwawa Nutrient Enhancement

In fall 2018, the Cascade Fisheries began a 5-year pilot of nutrient enhancement in the Chiwawa River.

Project Goal: Subsidize marine derived nutrients to the Chiwawa River for a five-year pilot program to elevate primary and secondary production, thus increasing food available for target native fish. The long-range goal is increased escapement of ESA-listed fish in the Chiwawa River in support of increased natural import of marine derived nutrients into the watershed.

Objective: Increase indirect and direct food sources for juvenile salmonids in a reach of the Chiwawa River by applying a treatment of salmon carcass analogs.

Methods: Apply salmon carcass analogs in early fall in the mainstem Chiwawa (RM 17 – RM 22.5) annually for five years. Perform water quality and effectiveness monitoring throughout the duration of the project.

Expected outcomes: Increased availability of marine derived nutrients (such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon) will lead to increased primary and secondary production. This increased production will provide more food for juvenile salmonids, improving their condition prior to overwintering and thus supporting increased survival and improved escapement.

The entire project added a lot of pellets to the watershed! This is related to the historic numbers of fish that would have returned.

Don your waders! The pellets are distributed throughout the river.

Helping make this beautiful river more healthy.

Distributing all of those pellets took an awesome crew!

Thank you for your upload.